Plans to acquire Cork heritage estate abandoned

The Irish Heritage Trust has confirmed that it has had to abandon the negotiations which were close to completing its acquisition of the Anne’s Grove estate in north Cork because of current Government cutbacks. Described by a spokesman as “a wonderful offer of an estate of international importance which we cannot now accept”, Anne’s Grove at Castletownroche is the home of the Grove Annesley family where a famous riverside garden is the centrepiece of a 500- acre estate comprising house, home farm, double stableyard, riverbank and woodlands. It lies deep in the Blackwater valley close to Spenser’s home at Doneraile which was also the home of Canon Sheehan, close also to the Hennessys of Cognac fame at Kilavullen and to the birthplace of Edmund Burke, and long associated with Farahy, home of Elizabeth Bowen at nearby Bowens’ Court. While a slight reduction in the core grant supporting the trust does not affect its ability to continue with the development of other projects, the endowment fund of €5 million and associated tax credits which had been allocated for Anne’s Grove were withdrawn two weeks ago. The spokesman indicated that “all bets are off now” with regard to the €35 million earmarked for the trust over the duration of the National Development Plan.

The Irish Times